School of Humanities & Social Sciences Research

Thought Leadership for Today’s Global Challenges

At the UNSW Canberra School of Humanities and Social Sciences we are committed to addressing the big issues facing our society and take an interdisciplinary approach to our research. Our research themes bring together experts on politics, law, international relations and history to provide thought leadership and new insights on key challenges facing Australia, the region and the world. 

Our Research Priorities

Through our research across Asia-Pacific Development and Security, Conflict and Society, Environment and Governance, Future Operations, International Ethics, and Maritime Security we lead debate and contribute to national and global change. 

Discover how UNSW Canberra’s School of Humanities and Social Sciences is leading the conversation on these complex international issues.

Asia Pacific Development and Security research draws experts working on current significant socio-political changes affecting the Asia-Pacific Region. Our research explores topics related gender, religion and development, as well as regional security issues through interdisciplinary approaches including anthropology, development studies, history, political science and social policy.

Conflict and Society research examines the shades and nuances of war and peace in social, political and military dimensions, as well as the relationships between military culture and civil societies. We explore the study of armed conflict and society in a historical perspective, as well as the literary and cultural responses to modern war.

Environment and Governance research brings together leading international researchers in environmental politics, law and policy, biodiversity, climate security, food systems, and environmental ethics. This work has a common focus on improving law, public policy and international cooperation in protecting ecosystems and managing the impact of human-induced environmental change.

Future Operations research seeks to understand and analyse the operational environment and the threats, risks and opportunities that military forces will face in the 2030-2050 timeframe. Urbanisation, climate change, rapid advances in technology, emerging flashpoints, unconventional and hybrid forms of warfare, and changes in the economic and geo-strategic setting for military operations all form part of the analysis.

International Ethics research brings together international relations, political theory and moral philosophy to address ethical questions in international politics. Our proximity to the military and government, as well as excellent support from Academy Library, means that UNSW Canberra is unrivalled in Australia as a place to pursue research in this field.

We take a broad approach to Maritime Security research, one which encompasses not only traditional hard security concerns, but also human security, maritime crime and the ‘blue economy’. The group has expertise in international law, history, strategy, naval affairs, and a range of Indo-Pacific regional perspectives. 

Learn With Us

As a UNSW Canberra Humanities and Social Sciences student, you will receive an outstanding education from leading experts. Whether you’re a future leader of the Australian Defence Force embarking on your undergraduate degree, or a budding academic commencing your career in research, discover why our school enjoys the highest rate of student satisfaction for our teaching and courses.  

We offer a Bachelor of Arts programs to trainee officers in the Australian Defence Force. Majors include English and Media Studies, History, Indonesian Studies, and International Political Studies.

Build on your existing knowledge with one of our masters degrees. Our postgraduate coursework programs are fully online and open to all qualified applicants. 

Our research degrees will allow you to apply your knowledge to an original project. You will work alongside world-class academics and make a significant contribution to your chosen field.

We design and delivers custom-built intensive courses to government and industry organisations, including units within the Department of Defence. 

Contact hass@adfa.edu.au for more information.  

Our People

The UNSW Canberra Humanities and Social Sciences team are global leaders in research and teaching. Use our search tool to meet our team and learn more about our professors, lecturers, research associates and more.  

Meet our team